Since starting to talk about Elliott I have found it has opened up the conversation to me on earlier losses as well. Stories of pain, isolation, heartbreak and grief.
It's time to discuss miscarriage and look at it for what it is-
the loss of a baby.
For too long miscarriage has been seen as a medical 'issue'. For too long have we dismissed the weight it may bear and loss that is held and felt. For too long it has been widely assumed that someone will have a little cry then return to life like nothing happened the next day. You know like the movies show. Except this is real life.
Yes there are many who may be relatively unaffected (for lack of a better word) by miscarriage and that is totally ok if that is the case. However there are many who are completely and utterly devastated. Some heal completely over time. Some grieve hard and deeply with a painful scar on their heart forever. Some will not be as devastated by an early term loss compared to a later term one while some will hold the same grief no matter what.
The experience and level of devastation it causes and how long such devastation lasts is unique to each person. There is no right or wrong to how someone feels and how long they feel that way after. All feelings are warranted, justified and valid. All are ok and normal. All loss is exactly as big as it feels.
No matter if "it was early", no matter why or how it happened, when a baby is wanted and loved, it's never ok. It's cruelly unfair. It's gut wrenchingly awful. No one should ever have their loss dismissed.
Miscarriage is often medicalised and trivialised because "these these happen all the time", as if that makes it ok. Instead we should all take a moment to just think of the want, the love, the hopes and dreams that were created by the parents. To think of the plans and thoughts that were being made already. To think of the bond and heart flutter that was had from the moment those two pink lines appeared. To think of the opportunities that will never come and the due date that never arrives.
If you are told by someone that they had a miscarriage, tell them you are truly sorry for their loss and genuinely ask how they are holding up. Be willing to hear that they aren't holding up at all. Don't offer platitudes that pass over the loss like telling them it's ok because they can have another. They might be able to, but that's actually never a given, and even if they can and do, that doesn't make it ok, they should have been able to have THAT baby. Simply offer an ear and lots of love. If they want silence and nothing more said, respect that. If they want that ear-
let them cry.
Let them talk.
Let them be angry and sad and jealous.
Let them grieve.
Let them pour out some of that love.
Let them know they are loved.
And that their baby mattered.